First Friday Santa Cruz



Diane Rejman

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(photo at left: Sunrise on the Santa Cruz Wharf (181)



I am sad/happy to report I have moved to Phoenix, AZ. Decades ago, I lived in Mesa, east of Phoenix. In a way, I returned "home." I bought a house here, and, considering it was my 30th move, I hope to settle in here for the rest of my life.

If you still might be interested in holding an exhibit at your location, we can talk. I could consider a visit!

A commercial for my photos ran on ME TV, Comcast Ch 19, and over the air on 27.1, from the end of December, 2015, through April. I had so much fun with this! I wrote the script, and was able to do my own voiceover. Jim Vossen of ME TV worked with me on it. We recorded it at their studio in Seaside, and then Jim coordinated the music and arranged for Ronald Butron to add the photos and prepare the video for broadcast. They didn't tell me when the ads would start, so I jumped a bit when I heard my voice while watching Gunsmoke. I've since seen it "sponsoring" so many shows I grew up with - Star Trek, The Man from UNCLE, MASH, Cheers, Gilligans Island, Perry Mason, and even Petticoat Junction and Leave It to Beaver. It maybe ran 600 times! What a hoot! Here's the ad:

ME TV commercial for Photos by Diane Rejman

(btw - if you have a small business, these ads are very affordable. You may want to check into them, especially if you love these old shows as much as I do.)

The December First Friday Celebration at Stockwell Cellars was a lot of fun! I hung 40 photos - 39 were mine, and for the first time, I hung 1 photo of a Guest Photographer. 58 people voted for their favorite photos, so I will be giving away three photos (I give away 1 for every 20 ballots). I took the photos down today. Am feeling a bit melancholy. Even though it was my 7th exhibit, I always get a bit sad when I take the photos down. Here's an interesting tidbit - for the first time, I hung a photo taken by a Guest Photographer, Joanne Clark. In voting, her photo of the Harbor, came in 2nd! I am very happy for her, and grateful she allowed me to hang her beautiful photo along with mine. Here is where the event was held:


This is a most beautiful and interesting collection of photos. They represent the Bay in all of its moods – sunny and stormy days, sunrises, sunsets, blues, pinks, golds, and even snow on the Main Beach!

This was my 7th exhibit, and my 4th First Friday. I would love to hang them in YOUR space so they can look awesome there! Please contact me.


(they were available at two different locations in the Santa Cruz area. with my move, they are no longer in the stores. I haven't had a chance to consider what to do with them in Phoenix.)


People are connecting to these photos. I was amazed and quite honored that, in my first 1 1/2 years of presenting these photos, I participated in a whopping five exhibits, two First Friday events, a special reception, two store openings, and had articles in two local newspapers!

I am still interested in finding a company to license these photos and have them marketed as a line of products targeted at the Santa Cruz tourism industry.


December, 2014 - First Friday Celebration, Dec. 3rd, Stockwell Cellars, 1100 Fair Ave, Santa Cruz, CA

October, 2014 - First Friday Celebration, Oct. 5th. Garimo's Real Soap, 6225 Hwy 9, Felton, CA

Aug-Dec, 2012: Santa Cruz office of Bill Monning, the 27th District State Assemblymember, 3rd floor of the County Building, 701 Ocean St. (35 images) Mr. Monning hosted a reception in September. He is now our State Senator.

July, 2012: Louden Nelson Community Center- 112 linear feet of wall/77 images. It was a challenge to fill this space! The photos from the collection "Homage to Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay" were at the core of the show, but were not enough. I couldn't bring myself to leave any empty walls. I added several photos from my recent travels. I was told it was the biggest show they ever had. One visitor said it was the most beautiful one!

The photos were honored to have their Public Debut at a First Friday event, sponsored by the O'Neill Sea Odyssey, Oct 7, 2011. The OSO provided their classroom for this beautiful event, which provided me with 65 linear feet of wall to hang 45 photos. They were up for a total of 3 1/2 hours!


Nov-Dec, 2013: Santa Cruz County Building, First Floor. As part of a show for the Community of Digital Artists (CODA) 1 image

Nov-Dec, 2012: Santa Cruz County Building, First Floor. As part of a show for the Community of Digital Artists (CODA). 1 image

December 22-23, 2012: Featured Artist at the Scotts Valley Artisans, 230 Mt. Herman Rd. (with one other artist)

Nov 2011-Feb 2012: Scotts Valley Library. 60 linear feet of wall/40 images.

Additionally, I have donated photos to 30 silent auctions/raffles for various non-profits.


During the Weather segment on KION TV, (Santa Cruz Comcast Channel 5), Norm Hoffman sometimes showed a photo submitted by viewers. One of mine has been shown six time:

August 20, 2014 January 2, 2014 November 27, 2013 (yup! two nights in a row!!) November 26, 2013 October 30, 2013 March 17, 2012 (approx) June, 2007 (approx)


In December, 2013, the Santa Cruz Visitors' Council purchased three photos (of the Lighted Boat Parade) for use in tourism ads!


Photos are available as 8x10's, matted to 11x14, framed or unframed.

These would make a fantastic gift for family or clients, to show off the beauty of where you work and do business.

Is your non-profit having a silent auction or raffle? Contact me for a donation.


3,600: The number of photos I took of the Monterey Bay from Santa Cruz' Beach Hill over a period of four years.

3: When possible, I ask people to VOTE for their top three favorite images

20: For every 20 ballots received, one person receives a copy of their Number 1 choice.

100: The number of photos I'd like to give away (big dreams!) 11: The number I've given away

213: number of people who have voted

57: number of different images chosen as somebody's Number 1 favorite


After moving 28 times, I arrived in Santa Cruz in 2005, while in the middle of a move back to Arizona. I was supposed to there for a few months - which turned into 9 1/2 years. You could say I got "trapped" there. One of the reasons I chose to stay in Santa Cruz was because of my access to the views in these photos. For four years I had a most unusual life. I lived in a motel on Beach Hill in the winters (Oct-May), and had to move out in the summers. At times, this was rather stressful. But then I'd end up back in my favorite room for another six months. It was glorious, and rather amazing. Sometimes I think if I didn't have the photos, I wouldn't believe I did that!

An interesting, serendipitous tidbit: On the day I decided to move here (in March, 2006), it snowed! This makes the photo of snow on the Main Beach the oldest in the collection. I was raised in New England, and didn't care much about it. Of course I didn't realize how rare an event this is for Santa Cruz. But still, I went out to the Main Beach at about midnight with my camera. I couldn't see anything at all in the viewfinder. It was total black. The flash lit up the sand enough for a picture, and the lights of the Wharf can be seen in the background. I didn't know it at the time, but it turned out to be a very auspicious welcome. I had no idea what the future held, and never considered that photo would be the core of a collection such as this!

Years ago (ok - decades ago) I worked in a b&w darkroom for several years. This included work as a Photo-Journalist in the Army. I always wanted to print color photos, but color darkrooms were VERY hard to find, and supplies for processing/printing color were prohibitively expensive. It wasn't until I found a photo quality printer for my home when I could start. That was when I realized I had been given something very special in the collection of photos I had taken, as a hobby. The reactions I received when I shared them is what motivated and inspired me to turn them into a business. With 57 different "Number 1" favorites, I realized each image, with its different feel, connects to different people in different ways. Everybody who lives or has visited Santa Cruz has their own favorite memory of the beach and the Bay. It has been a joy to share these photos.

Everybody can take a great photo, and these days, most people do. People regularly share their latest one with me on their cell phone. I think it's great. Every day, 350 MILLION photos are uploaded onto Facebook. I have chosen to not have a website, because I want people to remember the day when photos hung on walls to be enjoyed, and even contemplated. They are definitely photos worth pondering.

It's the scope of this collection that makes it so unique. I was blessed with such easy access to this great beauty. When I saw an unusual combination of light and clouds, I'd have maybe a ten minute window to take the photo before weather conditions changed. A collection of photos like this of the Bay has never existed, and would be difficult to replicate. At this point, I feel more like their caretaker. Now, my time is spent more on business, than art.

Prior to opening my business, "Photos by Diane Rejman," I worked in a wide variety of jobs. The majority of my career was in the aerospace/defense industry, in jobs as diverse as Technical Writer, FAA Coordinator, Industrial Engineer, and Business Systems Analyst/Designer. I also did some work in Silicon Valley just before the bust. In the Army, I was trained in electronics repair, but ended up working as a photo-journalist. I hold an MBA in International Management. Since 1994, my biography has been listed in various editions of Who's Who, including Who's Who of American Women (first time - 1994), ---- in America (1st time - 2000), and --- in the World (2010).


CAMERA: I took these photos with an older "hobby" camera, made by Olympus, with no special lenses or filters. Since I didn't anticipate printing them, I didn't worry about the camera's quality. It worked fine for viewing images on a computer screen. I was happily surprised to see how well they look when printed. I usually print 8x10's, and they look great. I experimented and tried having a couple of the images printed on 16x20 canvasses. The smaller file size provides a softness that works very well on these. I have upgraded my camera - a bit - but am not interested in using the big format 15 mb or whatever else they come out with. I like the size of the files my smaller density camera provides.

I'd like people to realize they don't need $10,000 worth of equipment to take beautiful photos. Find the beauty around you. The best camera for the picture you see, is the one you have.

There's another story I love: A man says, "You take beautiful pictures. You must have a great camera." He has the photographer to his house for dinner. She says, "This is an excellent meal. You must have a great oven."


I use several software packages, including one that is similar to Photoshop. I size and crop each photo, and often make adjustments to sharpness, brightness, and contrast. I don't do any color modification (a question I often get). I do a small amount of "photoshopping," - removing certain man-made objects that detract from the image.

The most common question I get is, "Where are the palm trees in Santa Cruz?" It seems most people don't look up when they walk along Beach St. at the Main Beach! There is a row of Mexican Fan Palm trees lining the street. Most people only notice them from a distance. I jokingly respond, "I photoshopped them into a hundred pictures. I did a great job, didn't I?" In reality - those palm trees have been there over twenty years. Also known as Washingtonia Robusta, they grow to 82 feet tall.


350 MILLION photos are uploaded to Facebook every day. I want people to see these in person. To hold them in their hands, and hang on their walls. To be appreciated in the original form of a photograph. Until I started printing them, I didn't realize what I had, even though I had seen them on my computer screen for years. I figure, if I upload them, people will click through them for a few seconds, and move on. I want people to remember when photos were meant to be appreciated and maybe even pondered. I tell people they need to attend an exhibit, or visit one of the store that carry these photos if they want to see the collection.


I print my own business cards, in small lots. I use a different photo for each event. I love people's expressions when they look at them. Often, they stare at it closely and give it an appreciative "look." They'll take one last look before putting it in their wallet, and some have even taken it out later to look again. I've been told my cards are being put up on people's refrigerators, in their offices, and even in their vehicles. I have used 18 different images on the cards for different exhibits, so several people have started collecting them. I "jokingly" tell people one day they will be like baseball cards!

I can't say I'm getting wealthy doing this. However, I've made a LOT of "soul money." Sometimes, that's more important. Sometimes it nice to just be doing something for the joy of doing it. I have fun sharing them.

In the photos below, the man I am standing with is California State Senator Bill Monning. Through December, 2012, he was our State Assemblymember. He chose my photos for the final exhibit in his Santa Cruz office, and honored the photos with a Reception. He is now our State Senator.

I can be contacted at dianerejman @

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